MADEMOISELLE ROXANE HARFIELD

by Mark Hodder

  • An introduction to this popular old character for the benefit of new readers.

Mademoiselle Roxane Harfield is young and beautiful, self-reliant, and very resourceful. Her significant others are: Pierre and Napoleon (both half-breed Canadian Indians); Captain Foster — captain of her yacht, La Brise; and Mr Cameron — Second Officer aboard La Brise.

Mademoiselle Roxane Harfield

The twenty-seven thousand acre Harfield Lumber Concession in New Brunswick, Canada, was formed by John Harfield just six months before his death. He left behind him a widow, Helen, a young daughter, Roxane, and eight directors of the company, which struggled on despite the lack of a proper railway line through the territory. One day, two of the directors, Chris Henley and Harold Carruthers, inform Roxane and her mother that they are selling the company. The Harfields have no choice in this matter and their share of the proceeds is pitiful. As they pack to leave their home, Mrs Harfield reads in a newspaper that a railway line is finally to be built; opening up the territory and promising vast profits from the lumber industry. Realising that she has been foully swindled out of a fortune, she collapses from the shock of it and dies. Roxane vows vengeance upon the eight directors ... and this leads her into adventures she little dreamed of.

For the next two years, Roxane takes what little money she has and skilfully plays the stock exchange until she has built up a fortune. She buys a yacht, La Brise, and begins to plan her revenge on the men she holds responsible for her mother's death. Disguising herself, she gains employment as secretary to one of the men. Her campaign begins ... ...

Chronology:

1. They Shall Repay! (UNION JACK issue 1,378, 1930)
Five years after she and her mother are cheated out of their home and business — an event which drives her mother into the grave — Mademoiselle Roxanne Harfield begins her campaign of vengeance. Of the eight businessmen who swindled her, the first target is Harold Carruthers. In disguise, Roxane gains a position as his secretary and for three years she ensures that his financial resources are weakened until, finally, he hangs everything upon one deal. In London, she steals the money he was to invest. Carruthers calls in Sexton Blake and the detective eventually persuades Roxane to hand back the money ... but by the time she does, Carruthers is already a broken man.

2. The Man From Devil's Island (UNION JACK issue 1,380, 1930)
Roxane sails to French Guiana, in the region of Devil's Island, and there deprives the second of her targets, a man named Chris Henley, from his fortune. She distributes this among the 'libres' — men who have been freed from Devil's Island but are now serving a sentence of forced labour on the mainland. Their sudden good fortune causes them to run riot and this affects a scientific expedition nearby. Sexton Blake is a member of that expedition and he starts to investigate the reasons for the unrest. This puts him in conflict with Roxane but she uses her feminine wiles to block him and manages to sail away before the detective can make a move against her.

3. The Brute of Saigon (UNION JACK issue 1,383, 1930)

4. Hunted Down (UNION JACK issue 1,388, 1930)

5. Jungle Justice (UNION JACK issue 1,390, 1930)

6. Forestalled (UNION JACK issue 1,391, 1930)

7. Blackmail (UNION JACK issue 1,396, 1930)

8. Shanghaied (UNION JACK issue 1,397, 1930)

9. Sinister Mill (UNION JACK issue 1,401, 1930)

10. The Shuttered Room (UNION JACK issue 1,410, 1930)

11. Black Spaniard Creek (UNION JACK issue 1,432, 1931)

12. Pearls of Peril (UNION JACK issue 1,445, 1931)

More to come ... ...